Pathological lying could finally be getting attention as a mental disorder

NB: I can think of several ‘cultural organisations’, national-level leaders, news channels and ‘national security’ agencies for whom pathological lying has been a way of life, the sole purpose of their existence. Will they get a mental health check? Even if they do, they will get what we call a ‘clean chit’. We’re all very sane people. DS

Brenda Goodman

When Timothy Levine set out to write a book about deception in 2016, he wanted to include a chapter on one of its most extreme forms: pathological lying. “I just couldn’t find any good research base on this,” said Levine, chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Now, it seems it’s the only thing anyone wants to talk to him about. “Santos has brought more reporters to me in the last couple of weeks than probably in the last year,” Levine said. Santos, of course, is US Rep. George Santos, a Republican from Long Island who was recently elected to represent New York’s third congressional district.

In the months since his election, key claims from Santos’ biography – including where he earned his college degree, his employment at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, an animal rescue group he says he founded and his Jewish religious affiliation – have withered under the scrutiny of reporters and fact-checkers. Now, he says, he doesn’t have a college degree; he wasn’t employed by Citigroup or Goldman Sachs; and the IRS has no record of his animal rescue group. He also says he never claimed to be Jewish, but rather he was “Jew-ish.”

Santos defended himself in media interviews in December, saying that the discrepancies were the result of résumé padding and poor word choices but that he was not a criminal or a fraud. It’s not clear what is driving Santos’ statements….

The Lady Vanishes